Pte 15/331 West Yorkshire Regiment, Prince of Wales Own. 15th Battalion, Leeds Pals

Norman could have been born to George Albert and Susan Firth in 1896. There were three other children; Minnie, Mary Elizabeth and James, all older than Norman. In 1901 they were living at 110 High Street, Morley and in 1911 at 2 Queen Street. George Albert was a plumber by trade. Norman attended Morley Secondary school from 1906-1908 and afterward worked in the rag trade. (Source: 1911 Census)

He enlisted in September 1914 as a Private in the Leeds Pals, from which point his army career followed the trajectory common to the Leeds Pals. He trained at Colsterdale, went to Egypt in 1915 and travelled to France before the Somme, where he stayed until he was discharged from the army on 16th February 1919.

Whilst in France, he fought at the Battle of the Somme, Ancre, Arras and the capture of Gavrelle. He was at the German offensive of 1918, the battles of Bullecourt and Armentieres, the advance into Flanders and the final push to the armistice. By this point, he was the driver of a pack mule in the Machine Gun section.

His service record has not survived – but his medal card exists and we know he was awarded the 1915 Star, the Victory and British War Medals. (Source: Medal Card)

Researcher: Peter Taylor

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